COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 15 10:24

Israel spyware firm linked to Khashoggi case used to hack WhatsApp

Software created by an Israeli spyware firm with links to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been used to hack messaging app WhatsApp.

WhatsApp discovered earlier this month that potential attackers had been able to install malicious surveillance software on to both iPhones and Android phones by ringing targets using the app’s phone call function, the Financial Times (FT) reported yesterday. The FT added that the software “could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs”.

May 15 10:18

WhatsApp Users Targeted By Spyware -- Here's What You Need To Know

WhatsApp has patched a vulnerability that allowed attackers to inject spyware onto people’s phones. This was confirmed by both WhatsApp and a spyware technology dealer to the Financial Times, which broke the news.

Discovered at the start of May, the vulnerability would have allowed adversaries to install surveillance software on phones by calling a user via the app’s phone call function. The attack could be performed even if the person didn’t answer their phone, while the calls would often disappear from logs, according to the spyware dealer.

The malicious code was allegedly developed by Israeli company NSO Group, which aims its products at Middle Eastern and Western intelligence agencies. NSO’s flagship product is dubbed Pegasus: a program that can turn on your phone’s microphone and camera, search emails and messages and collect location data.

May 15 10:16

ZombieLoad: New critical flaw affects most Intel processors, exposes keys, browsing history & more

Researchers have found another security flaw in the Intel processor chips that power most of the world’s computers, one that can compromise users’ private data – and that can’t be fixed without a major performance drop.
The exploit, dubbed ZombieLoad, is embedded in Intel’s processor chips themselves, meaning even the best-designed software patches can only go part of the way toward plugging the hole without reducing the chips’ performance. The vulnerability may allow attackers to ‘resurrect’ critical data processed by the chip – from browser history and passwords to disk encryption keys and other system-level sensitive data.

Its reach isn’t even limited to the end-user’s computer, according to researchers Michael Schwarz, Moritz Lipp, and Daniel Gruss from Graz University of Technology and Jo Van Bulck from KU Leuven: it “can also be exploited in the cloud.”

May 15 10:12

Victory! EFF Wins National Security Letter Transparency Lawsuit

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

A federal district court in San Francisco has ruled strongly in favor of our Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records of how and when the FBI lifts gag orders issued with National Security Letters (NSLs). These records will provide a window into the FBI’s use of a highly secretive investigative tool that has been historically misused. They will also provide insight into the effectiveness of the USA Freedom Act, the national security reform law passed by Congress in 2015.

NSLs are a form of administrative subpoena that allows the government to obtain basic information about customers of communications providers, banks and credit agencies, and a range of other companies. The defining feature of NSLs, however, is that the FBI can issue a blanket gag order with its information request, preventing recipients from saying anything about them, including the very fact that they have received an NSL.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Congrats, EFF, well-done!!

May 15 10:08

WhatsApp fixes Israeli spyware breach

Users of the messaging service WhatsApp are being urged to immediately update to the latest version of the app.

WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, released the update to fix a critical vulnerability that allowed Israeli spyware to be installed on a user’s smartphone simply by ringing it up.

“The malicious code, developed by the secretive Israeli company NSO Group, could be transmitted even if users did not answer their phones, and the calls often disappeared from call logs,” according to the Financial Times.

May 15 10:05

Intel CPUs impacted by new Zombieload side-channel attack

Academics have discovered a new class of vulnerabilities in Intel processors that can allow attackers to retrieve data being processed inside a CPU.

The leading attack in this new vulnerability class is a security flaw named Zombieload, which is another side-channel attack in the same category as Meltdown, Spectre, and Foreshadow.

May 15 09:10

ZombieLoad: New critical flaw affects most Intel processors, exposes keys, browsing history & more

Researchers have found another security flaw in the Intel processor chips that power most of the world’s computers, one that can compromise users’ private data – and that can’t be fixed without a major performance drop.

The exploit, dubbed ZombieLoad, is embedded in Intel’s processor chips themselves, meaning even the best-designed software patches can only go part of the way toward plugging the hole without reducing the chips’ performance. The vulnerability may allow attackers to ‘resurrect’ critical data processed by the chip – from browser history and passwords to disk encryption keys and other system-level sensitive data.

Its reach isn’t even limited to the end-user’s computer, according to researchers Michael Schwarz, Moritz Lipp, and Daniel Gruss from Graz University of Technology and Jo Van Bulck from KU Leuven: it “can also be exploited in the cloud.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Intel.... just fix the darned flaw, please!!!

This has got to be annoying to the execs here; but I think there are two words which, at this point in time, in the computer industry's existence, need to come about; those words are: product liability.

Because those creating the computers we all rely upon, have been, for far too many years, costing us business, and costing us money, sometimes, big-time.

That has to stop, and right the heck now.

May 15 08:22

WhatsApp: Malicious Spyware Has All The Markings Of “Government Sponsored Surveillance”

WhatsApp has asked users to update their systems after a malicious attack. The cyber attack is complete with all the hallmarks of a “government-sponsored surveillance” attempt.

The messaging and audio app owned by Facebook said Monday that malicious hackers were able to install spyware on Android smartphones and Apple iPhones and is asking users to make sure their security is up to date. But more alarming, is that this looks like the government wants to spy on its own people who use the WhatsApp app. “The attack has all the hallmarks of a private company reportedly that works with governments to deliver spyware that takes over the functions of mobile phone operating systems,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told MarketWatch.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This... is more than a little scary.

May 14 16:50

'Hard-to-fix' Cisco flaw puts work email at risk

Security researchers have discovered serious vulnerabilities affecting dozens of Cisco devices.

The flaws allow hackers to deceive the part of the product hardware that checks whether software updates come from legitimate sources.

Experts believe this could put emails sent within an organisation at risk as they may use compromised routers.

Messages sent externally constitute less of a risk, however, as they tend to be encrypted.

The California-based firm said it is working on "software fixes" for all affected hardware.

May 14 11:35

The Re-Opening Of The Swedish Assange Case Should Be Welcomed

Authored by Craig Murray,

That the Swedish investigation into the rape allegation against Julian Assange is being re-opened is something that ought to be welcomed. The alternative would be for this accusation to hang unresolved over Julian’s head forever. The Swedish prosecutors now need finally, as my father used to say, either to piss or get off the pot. They need to decide whether there is sufficient evidence to charge or not.

There is no reason for delay. The Swedish police have had seven years to investigate this case and all the evidence has been gathered and all statements taken – the last being the interview of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2017. Hopefully to review the evidence and decide whether to charge will not now be a lengthy procedure. It is worth noting, contrary to much misreporting, Julian Assange has never been charged with anything in Sweden.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Assange is to leave the British prison in which he is now languishing, having him be in a Swedish courtroom may be profoundly less hazardous to his health; in an American jail, there is always, it appears, to be room for political assassinations.

If you don't believe me, just think of the murder of Whitey Bulger in a Federal jail last year.

May 14 10:39

Boeing Settlement Hinges On How Long Doomed 737 Max Passengers Knew They Were Going To Die

Boeing and its insurers are likely to pay an amount of money to the families of those who died in the 737 Max crashes that is directly proportional to one grim measure: how long the victims knew they were plunging to their deaths. Additionally, as part of a legal fight to determine Boeing's financial liability after the 737 Max crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, passenger's families could be paid compensation based on grief, sorrow, loss of companionship and lost future paychecks.

According to an estimate from Bloomberg, the claims could total as much is $1 billion, and some legal experts believe the final amount could be even more, if evidence shows that Boeing knew about flaws in their planes prior to the tragedies taking place. This idea has already prompted investor lawsuits against the company, claiming it hid safety risks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Boeing used to be a company with a stellar reputation for safety; that there was knowledge on the part of the execs, that there were real, possibly fatal flaws in the design these 737s, is more than a little scary.

Whoever knew about this, and sat on it, should be looking at real jail time, and NOT, thank you very much, in a Club Fed.

May 14 10:19

Ecuador will give USA Assange's computers and documents in London

The Attorney General of the State of Ecuador has agreed to register one of the stays of the embassy of that country in London, in which the cyber-activist has resided during the last seven years, and to deliver to the US all his documents, mobile phones, computer files , computers, memory units, CDs and any other device, as indicated by an official notification to which EL PAÍS has had access.

May 14 10:08

Adobe Releases Critical Patches for Flash, Acrobat Reader, and Media Encoder

Adobe today released its monthly software updates to patch a total of 87 security vulnerabilities in its Adobe Acrobat and Reader, Flash Player and Media Encoder, most of which could lead to arbitrary code execution attacks or worse.

None of the flaws patched this month in Adobe products has been found exploited in the wild.

Out of 87 total flaws, a whopping number of vulnerabilities (i.e., 84 in total) affect Adobe Acrobat and Reader applications alone, where 42 of them are critical and rest 42 are important in severity.

May 14 10:05

Judge: Number of ‘Unprovable’ Piracy Cases is Alarmingly High

Copyright-trolling outfit Strike 3 has suffered a severe blow in a New York federal court. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein has thrown out over a dozen cases, signaling a variety of problems. Among other things, the Judge noted that the frequency of improperly accused pirates, more than one in three, is alarmingly high.

May 14 10:04

Revealed: The WhatsApp message that spread false rumour of Metro Bank 'going bankrupt' and sent worried savers rushing to empty their accounts

A false WhatsApp rumour telling Metro Bank customers to empty their accounts 'as soon as possible' was behind a panic which sent the company's shares tumbling, it has emerged.

A message which circulated on the Facebook-owned service claimed falsely that Metro Bank 'may be shut down or going bankrupt'.

It sparked fears for the future of the High Street bank and prompted some West London savers to queue up at a local branch and withdraw their money.

The bank has faced a tumultuous few months but has told customers there is 'no reason to be concerned' about the false claims.

May 14 09:11

Secretive Israeli Company Uses WhatsApp Voice Calls To Install Spyware On Phones

With so much attention focused recently on constant consumer spying and privacy violations, erroneous or otherwise, by Amazon, Facebook and now Twitter, it is easy to forget that virtually other communication apps have the same purpose, and that's what one secretive Israeli company relied on when they used a vulnerability in the popular messaging app WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) to inject commercial Israeli spyware on to phones, the company and a spyware technology dealer said. What is unique is how the app was infected: with a simple phone call.

May 13 19:54

Israeli Firm Tied to Tool That Uses WhatsApp Flaw to Spy on Activists

An Israeli firm accused of supplying tools for spying on human-rights activists and journalists now faces claims that its technology can use a security hole in WhatsApp, the messaging app used by 1.5 billion people, to break into the digital communications of iPhone and Android phone users.

Security researchers said they had found so-called spyware — designed to take advantage of the WhatsApp flaw — that bears the characteristics of technology from the company, the NSO Group.

WhatsApp engineers worked around the clock to patch the vulnerability and released a patch on Monday. They encouraged customers to update their apps as quickly as possible.

May 13 19:49

WhatsApp exploit let attackers install government-grade spyware on phones

WhatsApp just fixed a vulnerability that allowed malicious actors to remotely install spyware on affected phones, and an unknown number reportedly did so with a commercial-grade snooping package usually sold to nation-states.

The vulnerability (documented here) was discovered by the Facebook-owned WhatsApp in early May, the company confirmed to TechCrunch. It apparently leveraged a bug in the audio call feature of the app to allow the caller to allow the installation of spyware on the device being called, whether the call was answered or not.

The spyware in question that was detected as having been installed was Israel-based NSO Group’s Pegasus, which is usually (ostensibly) licensed to governments looking to infect targets of investigations and gain access to various aspects of their devices.

May 13 17:45

Kentucky Taxpayers On The Hook An Estimated $1.5B for Their “Information Highway to Nowhere”

By B.N. Frank

Activist Post reported less than a month ago about how Google has to pay $4M to Louisville, KY to remove fiber, repair damage, and repave roads after its failed project. According to a recent article from ProPublica, Kentucky residents are on the hook for a different high-speed internet fiasco...

May 13 17:07

Google's left-leaning media bias revealed: Academic study exposes how search engine massively over-promotes results from liberal news websites over right

According to data compiled by researchers from Northwestern University, the search engine promoted those sites over others repeatedly in November 2017.

Of the 6,302 articles that appeared in Google's 'top stories' page that month after a term was searched, more than 10 percent were by CNN.

The New York Times was the second most favored and accounted for 6.5 percent of articles. The Washington Post was third with 5.6 percent.

By contrast, Fox News, the most right-wing outlet in mainstream media, was the source of just three percent of the stories which appeared.

Nearly all (86 percent) of the stories came from just 20 sources and of them, 62 percent were considered to be left-leaning.

May 13 17:06

Manosphere Blog 'Chateau Heartiste' Banned by WordPress

WordPress reportedly banned the popular right-wing manosphere blog Chateau Heartiste on Friday in the latest assault on Free Speech at the hands of Big Tech.

May 13 16:41

Google under fire after it forces Nest users to migrate their accounts and share data, raising privacy concerns

Google is facing an onset of privacy concerns after it announced it plans to dissolve the Nest brand in favor of a new, all-purpose smart home division, called Google Nest.

As part of the decision, existing users of Nest smart thermostats, security cameras and other products will be forced to migrate their information over to a Google account.

The announcement, made at Google's I/O developer conference last week, has caught the eye of some users and experts who say it gives them little control over the future of their Nest data and, as a result, their privacy.

May 13 10:47

Privacy Experts, Senators Demand Investigation of Amazon’s Child Data Collection Practices

Last year, a coalition of privacy advocates and child psychologists warned against putting an Amazon Alexa speaker anywhere near your child on the fairly reasonable grounds that developing minds shouldn’t befriend always-on surveillance devices, no matter how cute the packaging. Now, a group of privacy researchers, attorneys, and U.S. senators are calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Amazon’s alleged violations of COPPA, a law protecting the littlest users of all.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Mike and I had children, we wouldn't want them anywhere near one of these devices.

Amazon/'Facebook have long since been the "surveillance arm" of the US government.

May 13 10:26

Tech tyrants develop app for Leftist brownshirts to report as “hate speech” anything you say that offends them

Researchers from The University of Utah‘s (UoU) DIGIT Lab have reportedly developed a new smartphone app for snowflake Leftists that will allow liberals to report anyone who says or does something that personally “offends” them to law enforcement, under the pretext that these “offenders” have committed a “hate crime.”

Known as the Hate Incident Reporting System, the app has been branded as a tool to help fill the alleged “gap” in hate crimes reporting, which is apparently tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). But in reality, the app is actually a weapon for the Left to use against people they don’t like who merely exercise their free speech rights in accordance with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

May 12 17:29

NY Times Article Blames Russia for U.S. 5G Opposition Even Though Telecom Industry Can’t Provide Evidence That 5G Is Safe and Researchers Say It’s Harmful

By B.N. Frank

With some people still blaming Russia for Trump being elected, it was only a matter of time before somebody decided to blame them for the increasing number of Americans opposing 5G and elected officials demanding proof that 5G is safe … Hello New York Times — (“Your 5G Phone Won’t Hurt You, But Russia Wants You To Think Otherwise.”)

Of course, it’s not only Americans who don’t want 5G. Governments around the world are ordering moratoriums on installation too. Maybe the New York Times blames Russia for this as well...

May 12 10:57

Scott Adams: Summer Fake News, Wall Construction, Iran

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1127575248130326528

S.E. Cupp asks why Kamala can’t seem to get traction
Have you seen Kamala’s tweets and the way she speaks?
She doesn’t seem to know how to “unlawyer”
Biden’s approach to climate change is…let’s go slow?
How does he sell that to his base with 12 year fears?
President Trump tweets for Iran to call him
He’ll treat their leaders with respect…while negotiating tough
NO Democrats have gone in to read the unredacted Mueller report
Multiple Republicans have gone in to read it
Not one single Democrat wants to read it, nobody is interested?
No curiosity, NOTHING useful for Dems in Mueller’s report?
DJ Akira the Don tweets about power of music to control people
The ability of music to manipulate emotions and behavior
NPR piece on Gen IV nuclear power

May 12 09:03

‘OMG’: Emails Reveal Huma Abedin’s Reaction When Learning Hillary’s Server Was Target of Hacking

Huma Abedin, a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had a simple three letter response upon learning that her boss’s private email server had been the target of a hacking attempt – “OMG.”

The revelation comes amidst the release of 277 pages of FBI files concerning Clinton.

One email in the document drop shows Abedin responding to IT professional Justin Cooper who explained that he had to shut down the supposedly secure server on January 9th, 2011, because “someone was trying to hack us.”

“I had to shut down the server,” Cooper wrote. “Someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn’t want to let them have the chance to.”

May 11 08:08

Did You Write Your Bitcoin Obituary In Time?

By Jeffrey A. Tucker

The market capitalization of crypto is 300% higher now than it was two years ago this date. Among the biggest changes from two years ago is Bitcoin (BTC) dominance over the sector, down from 85% (January 2017) to circling around 50% today. This change is mostly traceable to the rise of specialized tokens filling various market needs, something very few could have predicted 5 years ago.

If you are surprised to know any of this, you might have been reading too many obituaries from people who treat Bitcoin and all related products as a speculative mania rather than a fundamental innovation in information technology deserving of serious attention. Ironically, it’s these same people who never stop inveighing against speculative manias in crypto – a technology only ten years old!...

May 10 17:38

Facial Recognition Tech Tested By UK Police Was Wrong 96% Of The Time According To Big Brother Watch

By Aaron Kesel

Facial recognition is highly flawed. Activist Post has consistently reported numerous studies finding that the technology’s accuracy isn’t all it’s marketed to be. Now, a watchdog observing UK Metropolitan Police trials has stated the technology has misidentified members of the public, including a 14-year-old black child in a school uniform who was stopped and fingerprinted by police, as potential criminals in as much as 96 percent of scans, according to Big Brother Watch in a press release...

May 10 11:59

Scott Adams: Drinking Coffee With You and Taking Your Questions

Democrat troll, Vic Berger’s behavior appears horribly abusive
Attacked Mike Cernovich’s wife and child
Gilead’s MAJOR donation of AIDS drugs to US for the poor
Only Washington Examiner shows up in Google search?
Is coverage being throttled, suppressed?
China trade negotiations
Is this a stock buying opportunity?
Kamala’s lawyerly boring tweet
Nothing she does, feels genuine
20 years from now…what will they say about President Trump?
Will they say nobody was better?
more transparent, more persuasive, best rally speaker?
Gifted deal maker, friendly while negotiating HARD?
Delegitimized the FAKE NEWS industry?
Raised awareness they’re an enemy of the people?
President Trump accuses John Kerry of Logan Act violations
Kerry says he’s just “keeping in touch” with Iran
Does that sound even slightly honest to anyone?

May 10 09:49

Popular GPS tracker can be remotely hacked anytime, warns security firm

A GPS tracker used as a panic alarm has major security flaws that can leak users’ real-time location and allow it to be remotely deactivated, say UK cyber-security researchers. They are calling for an immediate recall.

Manufactured in China, the devices are bought in bulk and resold by several companies around the world. While the device itself doesn’t have internet connectivity, it does use a SIM card to connect to a cell network for location tracking. However, almost anyone can give the device commands by knowing its phone number and sending it a text.

Commands can allow the device’s current location to be divulged and its built-in microphone to be listened to remotely. It can also be turned off completely – all without the user’s knowledge.

May 10 09:04

Venezuela coup enthusiast Rubio says China is secretly propping up Maduro

Neocon US Senator and Venezuela regime change crusader Marco Rubio claims China is secretly backing President Nicolas Maduro by 'shutting down the internet' to thwart Washington-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido.
The Chinese are "single-handedly controlling the defensive cyber operations shutting down the internet," Rubio told Breitbart in an interview published Thursday, claiming that thanks to Beijing, opposition leader Juan Guaidó has "no access to the internet. Any time he tries to speak or communicate on social media, they shut down the internet. Literally, every time he holds a rally, they shut down the internet."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, now he knows how the Independent Media feels about Facebook, Google, et. al.'s treatment of us!

May 10 08:54

“Alexa, Stop Spying on My Kids”: Amazon’s Echo Dot Violates Child Privacy Law

By Jessica Corbett

A coalition of consumer and public health groups demanded Thursday that federal regulators investigate and sanction Amazon for its Echo Dot Kids Edition, arguing that the device illegally collects and retains children’s personal data...

May 10 08:42

Two crypto-mining groups are fighting a turf war over unsecured Linux servers

Two hacker groups are fighting to take control over as many Linux cloud-based environments as they can so they can use server resources to mine cryptocurrency behind owners' backs.

This turf war has been secretly going on since late last year, ever since the rise of a new hacker group named Pacha, which was pretty successful at challenging Rocke --the top hacker group specialized in Monero crypto-mining operations.

Both groups operate mass-scanning operations that look for open or unpatched cloud services and servers to infect them with a multi-functional Linux-based malware strain.

May 10 07:38

Image-sharing app Ever used family photos from MILLIONS of users to develop and sell facial recognition software without their consent

Millions of people's private photos have been leveraged by the cloud photo service, Ever, to develop and sell facial recognition software without their consent says an exclusive report by NBC News.

According to the report, Ever, which started in 2013 as a cloud-based app for storing and sharing photos, has recently started to pivot into a burgeoning field of facial recognition technology through its new arm, Ever AI.

In order to train its software, which according to the company's web page, is capable of delivering 'surveillance & monitoring, physical access control, and digital authentication,' it used the personal photos from its millions of its users without informing them first.

May 10 07:35

Instagram will now BLOCK hashtags that promote anti-vaccination misinformation

Instagram has struggled to beat back content promoting vaccination conspiracy theories, so it's taking new steps to prevent misinformation around this topic from spreading further.

The company will now begin to block hashtags that show consistently false information about vaccines, such as #vaccinescauseautism, #vaccinescauseaids and #vaccinesarepoison.

Once a hashtag has been blocked, if a user attempts to search that term, it will no longer return any results when users click on it.

May 09 11:54

DETROIT POLICE SPENT MORE THAN HALF MILLION DOLLARS ON CELL-SITE SIMULATOR TO TRACK PEOPLE’S LOCATIONS

Detroit police purchased surveillance technology that allows police to actively track people’s locations through their cell phones, according to documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests.

In October 2017, the Detroit Police Department (DPD) obtained a cell-site simulator, which is a type of surveillance technology that locates and tracks phones by mimicking cell phone towers. Also known as IMSI catchers and Stingrays (a specific model of cell-site simulator made by Harris Corporation), cell-site simulators are increasingly used by law enforcement to locate suspects in investigations across the country.

The technology was purchased for $622,000 from KeyW Corporation in 2016, but DPD did not take possession of the equipment until the fall of 2017.

DPD’s cell-site simulator was deployed at least 66 times between January 1, 2018, and October 31, 2018.

May 09 11:52

Microsoft to Release Version of Word That Makes Your Grammar ‘Politically Correct’

Microsoft is set to release a new version of Word that uses artificial intelligence to make your writing ‘politically correct’.

You know how annoying it is when the iPhone corrects ‘fucking’ to ‘ducking’ every time you type out the word? Imagine that for an entire essay.

The new feature, called ‘Ideas in Word’, will recommend ‘sensitive’ phrases like “We need to get some fresh blood in here” be modified so that “fresh blood” becomes “new employees”.

May 09 11:50

US shuts down dark web marketplace; 2 Israelis charged

A gateway to illegal marketplaces on the darknet has been shut down, the FBI announced Wednesday, and two of its alleged operators have been arrested and accused of making millions of dollars in kickbacks for their services.

A grand jury in Pittsburgh returned indictments against the two Israelis on charges of money laundering conspiracy. They’re accused of receiving more than $15 million from the operation, which ran from Oct. 2013 through this week, prosecutors said.

Both were arrested Monday, one in France and the other in Israel.

The website was identified as DeepDotWeb, accessible under a slightly different name on the darknet, part of the internet but hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only with anonymity-providing tools.

May 09 11:32

Scott Adams: Social Media Bans on Conservatives, Also a Bunch of Good News

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1126487498329182209

Senator Cornyn & psychedelic mushrooms, “What could go wrong?”
Presidential critics BACKING the President on China trade deal?
Hard to negotiate with Dems perpetually pecking him
Climate change articles completely ignore nuclear power options
Juan Williams on The Five…cognitive blindness?
Mark Schneider web page raising public awareness about Gen IV
https://GenIVnuclear.com
Chemical desalination of sea water…MAJOR breakthrough
Life saving overdose drug, Naloxone, legalized for the public
Availability result 1st Yr: 27% reduction of overdose deaths
Availability result 2nd Yr: 34% reduction of overdose deaths
Social Media banning popular conservatives
Reddit REMOVED top pro-Trump group from searches
Google simultaneously REMOVED them from searches
A new level of censorship coordination

May 09 11:03

Facebook co-founder says it’s ‘time to break up’ the social media giant in scathing op-ed

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes has called for the break-up of the social media behemoth and lamented the “staggering” and “unchecked” power of CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a lengthy and searing oped.

Hughes co-founded Facebook with Zuckerberg in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 and watched “in awe” as the company grew over the last 15 years — but said he now feels a “sense of anger and responsibility” about how all-powerful and out-of-control the social media giant has become.

Lashing out at the company, Hughes wrote in a piece published by the New York Times that Zuckerberg’s power and influence goes “far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.”

“There is no precedent for [Zuckerberg’s] ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.”

May 09 10:49

Pompeo threatens UK with intel sharing cut-off if they buy Huawei 5G

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned the UK that allowing Huawei to bid on 5G contracts could spell the end of the US-UK "special relationship" – and, apparently, the UK's membership in the Five Eyes.

"With respect to 5G, the United States has an obligation to ensure that the places we will operate, the places where American information is, the places where we have our national security risks, that they operate inside trusted networks," Pompeo said in a speech to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Wednesday.

May 09 10:18

Windows 10: Microsoft is bringing back one of Windows 95’s most popular features

Microsoft is rebooting and open sourcing PowerToys, the Windows 95 utilities that brought power users the popular Tweak UI, which allowed users to manipulate the Windows user interface, and over a dozen other tools.

Microsoft is planning to publish previews of PowerToys utilities via GitHub this summer, along with the source code under an MIT license, as it did with the recently open-sourced Windows Calculator app. Likewise, it is also encouraging any fans to give feedback about which features it should prioritize for PowerToys.

May 09 08:32

2009: NSA Building “HAL” A.I. System, Facebook Now Developing Brain-Machine Interface

By Daniel Taylor

Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” – NSA researcher

In a little-noticed bombshell report by James Bamford in 2009, it was revealed that the NSA’s massive database of information, including social media, was being used to create an artificial intelligence system that would “…one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.”...

May 09 07:39

Human Brains Re-wired in Tech Age, Big Tech Capitalizes on “Hypersensitized” Dopamine Systems

By Daniel Taylor

Depression and suicide are at record rates in the West. While there are many driving factors behind this trend, one of them appears to be worsening addictions to tech.

Human development has thus far driven us toward interaction with others. We needed to connect with and learn from each other. We need to reproduce.

What happens when our technology becomes more “rewarding” than anything else?...

May 08 17:58

Start Spreading The News: Another Elected Official Asks The FCC To Provide Documentation That 5G Is Safe

By B.N. Frank

In February the Telecom Industry told a congressional committee that they knew of no scientific studies that prove 5G technology is safe.

There is already research that has proven 5G is harmful and that all other sources of wireless radiation are harmful too...

May 08 15:22

Firefox armagg-add-on: Lapsed security cert kills all browser extensions, from website password managers to ad blockers

Every single web extension, theme, search engine plugin, and language pack had stopped working with netizens' Firefox installations, potentially stripping any data and settings associated with them if they were subsequently removed.

For example, in a post on Hacker News, Rosser Schwarz, who works with databases, lamented how the add-on annihilation lost work stored in the Firefox container add-on.

"I did not merely 'lose some tabs'; those, I could just re-open," he said. "I lost work. That data, effort, and time are gone."

The source of the trouble was identified in a bug report as the expiration of an intermediate signing certificate, which is used to authenticate third-party Firefox add-ons, also known as extensions. With the cert's unanticipated demise, Firefox stopped allowing these add-ons to run or be installed.

May 08 15:20

Hackers steal nearly £31 million in Bitcoin from one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges using phishing, viruses and other attacks

With just a single transaction, hackers have stolen nearly £31 million ($40m) in Bitcoins from one of the world's largest cryptocurrency trading companies.

The theft, which affected Binance, was carried out with a variety of methods that included phishing and viruses.

The hackers were able to withdraw 7,000 Bitcoin (£30.9m) by surpassing all the company's security checks, said the company's CEO.

Chief Executive Changpang Zhao said that the amount taken made up 'about 2%' of Binance's total Bitcoin holdings.

The Japan-based company's chief executive Mr. Zhao, who is also known as CZ, said Binance will use its secure asset fund fully cover the incident and promised that it will conduct a 'thorough security review'.

May 08 15:16

Eavesdropping on housemates' gossip, recording details about insurance policies and a bizarre obsession with the family dog: MailOnline reveals just how much Alexa IS listening to day-to-day lives

Smart assistants are now commonplace in many homes but users remain unaware of the treasure trove of private data they store - and that they can access it themselves to hear what has been recorded from their own everyday lives.

A MailOnline investigation into these 'secret' archives has revealed an eerie snippets of users' friends, families and children being recorded while they were completely unaware - and without a clear or legitimate wake word being uttered.

One user found his Alexa repeatedly activated to record the same guest in their house gossiping about work colleagues, while another was recorded in a private discussion about their insurance policy - and another about their dream job.

Bizarrely, in one household, Alexa seems to have developed an obsession with the family dog - waking up 13 times to record it barking.

In a worrying twist, this was often when there was no one in the house who could possibly have ordered it to activate.

May 08 15:06

Facebook to suppress all websites that aren’t officially recognized by the corrupt, dishonest Wikipedia website

This is huge because Facebook has become a primary traffic driver for new websites of all kinds, including, of course, news sites. But, as Breitbart Tech reports, Click-Gap appears to have been designed to promote websites that managed to build up their readership and following before social media became a thing. So the system will naturally favor the older, establishment media outlets like CNN, Washington Post, The New York Times, etc. — some of the biggest drivers of fake news in the era of POTUS Donald Trump.

Of course, this is precisely the kind of scenario the mainstream media outlets want; anything they can do to shut out independent media competition, the better.

May 08 15:00

‘OMG’: Emails Reveal Huma Abedin’s Reaction When Learning Hillary’s Server Was Target of Hacking

Huma Abedin, a top aide to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had a simple three letter response upon learning that her boss’s private email server had been the target of a hacking attempt – “OMG.”

The revelation comes amidst the release of 277 pages of FBI files concerning Clinton.

One email in the document drop shows Abedin responding to IT professional Justin Cooper who explained that he had to shut down the supposedly secure server on January 9th, 2011, because “someone was trying to hack us.”

“I had to shut down the server,” Cooper wrote. “Someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in I didn’t want to let them have the chance to.”

May 08 11:34

China to Conduct More Cyber Attacks Against US - Pompeo

The United States should be ready for China conducting more cyber-attacks in the future, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies in London.

"The APT10 Group [Advanced Persistent Threat 10 hacking group] acted on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security to steal intellectual property and sensitive commercial data from Europe, and from Asia, and from the United States. We appreciate the United Kingdom publicly calling out China for that cyber-attack, there will be more, and we must be ever vigilant", Pompeo said.

The statement comes after US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye claimed in March that the APT40 hacking group conducted a cyber espionage operation targeting crucial technologies to bolster China's navy.

May 08 11:00

Baltimore City Hall Computer Network Infected With Ransomware Virus, Officials Say

Baltimore City Hall government servers have been infected by a ransomware virus that government officials said is spreading throughout their network.

Mayor Jack Young released a statement confirming the issue.

“Baltimore City core essential services (police, fire, EMS and 311) are still operational but it has been determined that the city’s network has been infected with a ransomware virus. City employees are working diligently to determine the source and extent of the infection. At this time, we have seen no evidence that any personal data has left the system. Out of an abundance of precaution, the city has shut down the majority of its servers. We will provide updates as information becomes available.”

He said at this time no personal data has left their system.

May 08 10:58

'Deep fake' videos that can make anyone say anything worry U.S. intelligence agencies

A video of a seemingly real news anchor, reading a patently false script saying things like the "subways always run on time" and "New York City pizza is definitely not as good as Chicago" gives a whole new meaning to the term fake news.

But that fake news anchor is a real example of a fascinating new technology with frightening potential uses.

I was stunned watching the Frankenstein mix of Steve Lacy's voice coming out of what looks like my mouth.

May 08 09:47

Nation state actors, affiliates behind increasing amount of data breaches

Cyberattacks by nation states and parties affiliated with them represented 23% of data breaches, up from 12% in 2018 and 19% in 2017, according to Verizon's Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

The 12th annual data breach report were based on 41,000 cybersecurity incidents and more than 2,000 data breaches. At a high level, the DBIR report outlined the following:

May 08 09:29

Scott Adams: China, Iran, NK, Trump Taxes, Socialism, Coffee, and Guns

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1126125111462047745

Gun control proposal: Make it illegal for Democrats to own guns
Why would Dems object? Solves half the problem
Another Proposal: ALL gun owners REQUIRED to join NRA
They promote gun safety, responsible use, important stuff
NRA membership is essentially gun control and safety
Jerry Nadler and Congressional Oversight
Manufacturing crimes and stalking President Trump
People are being manipulated into committing crimes…
…without even realizing they’re committing a crime
NYT legally obtained some…illegally obtained, Presidential tax info
If you understand business and taxes, smart, legal tax stuff
If you understand finance, nothing unusual in his taxes
China is smart, nobody says they aren’t
They’re stalling for time, wearing down the other side

May 07 19:03

Apple and Google pull three dating apps from their online stores after it's revealed they allowed CHILDREN as young as 12 to create profiles

Following warnings from the FTC, both Apple and Google have removed several dating apps from their platforms that they say allowed children to join.

According to a letter sent by the FTC to Ukraine-based Wildec LLC, which owns FastMeet, Meet24 and Meet4U, the trio of dating apps allowed children as young as 12 to participate in the service and communicate with adults.

In an FTC investigation of the app, the organization says they were also able to identify and confirm multiple children within the service using a built-in age filter that allows users to search by age.

In some instances, Wildec's dating apps were used by potential predators to find victims.

May 07 18:50

Madonna is right about smartphones being bad for children: They have disturbing, long-term effects on their brains

Chief among the effects: Smartphones may actually change children’s brains. The National Institutes of Health is in the midst of a $300 million study that’s following 11,000 children over 10 years. It already has some preliminary results: MRI scans from 4,500 participants show physical changes in the brains of those children that use smartphones for more than 7 hours per day.

Those changes include thinning of the brain’s cortex, which is associated with lower IQ. Children who spend just 2 hours a day on their smartphones also have lower language and thinking skills. Dimitri Christakis, one of the author’s of screen guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and a lead author for its Virtual Violence policy, told CBS, “We’re sort of in the midst of a natural kind of uncontrolled experiment.”

May 07 18:38

Charter squeezes more money out of Internet users with new cancellation policy

Charter is making it more expensive to cancel its Spectrum Internet service, as it will begin charging customers for the full month after they cancel instead of providing a prorated final bill.

Charter broke the news to customers in the fine print of their latest billing statements. Stop the Cap reported the change yesterday, and we were able to confirm it on the May billing statement received by an Ars staffer in Texas who subscribes to a triple-play package with Spectrum TV, phone, and Internet service.

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